I read recently about an Aboriginal leader named Reg Blow who out of taking Landmark’s programmes created a spiritual healing trail, a guided tour through the Darebin parklands, as a means of reconciliation between all Australian communities. The brochure he created for park visitors is fascinating and evokes a sense of deep peace–I’ve quoted some of it below.
As you enter Darebin Parklands, you are embarking on a spiritual journey, into the realm of nature and possibilities, as you walk toward the gum trees, let the leaves welcome and refresh you, allow them to relieve any stress, tension and division from your mind, to encourage you to focus on the reason for
your visit. Bunjil created Darebin Creek and surrounding bushland for people to find joy and be at peace within themselves and others. The Wurundjeri clan of the Woiwurrung people have cared for this land, and enjoyed it, through many millennia. Whoever you are who reads this, you are now invited to find joy and peace here, for yourself.
Gather your thoughts. Identify and prioritise your issues.
During this stage of your journey, take time to meditate on your problems and issues of concern. Harness the tranquillity and peacefulness of the area, and use them to open your mind.Reflect on all the concerns you have in your life at present. This can be likened to stirring up the water to create a muddy or cloudy area where things cannot be seen clearly. Waiting for clarity teaches us to be patient. This action allows us to realise that you need to step back and not act in haste. If you wait for the water to clear you can look at what there is to see.
Let the water wash away issues you have no control over.
At this point, you will have to cross the Darebin Creek. Stop at the creek bank to wash your hands to symbolically resolve these problems that you have no control over, or that cannot be resolved at this point in time. Do not waste energy on problems and issues that cannot be resolved. Let them go, or put them to one side for the time being. Dealing with those issues that we can control ensures that we channel our energy toward productive activities that will result in a positive outcome or benefit.
Draw energy from the good things in your life.
Give a little time now to consider how you are feeling within your journey. Think of where you have been and use your surroundings to connect yourself with the spirit of place. Consider your surroundings. Picture a wetland in your mind then probe deeper into the water before you and the diversity of life that it supports. Sometimes things that might look worthless or simple have great value for those who choose to search for it. Then consider the richness and fullness of your life. Draw energy from the good things, whether it is friends, family or anything positive that makes you feel happy. Think about planning things you can do to deal with the issues confronting you. Store positive values from lessons learned while confronting your problems. Think about developing an action plan to deal with your immediate problems.Will your actions act to sustain growth in your life and others? Reflect at this point on relieving your pressure. What will work for you – advice, counselling, information, reliable support, people or services? How can you share the pressure you are feeling? Work your issues again through your mind until you feel satisfied within yourself that you can now deal with them and take control of your life.
One step at a time
Walk along the edge of the creek until you find another crossing. There is a fish ladder located here. The ladder is symbolic of the need to take one step at a time to overcome big obstacles. Take some time to meditate on your issues for possible solutions by using this same principle. Think about the small steps you might take to start addressing your problems. Focus on what you can do immediately that might be applicable and relevant to the situation. Just as the fish ladder has been built to help fish in their journey, all of us have some ‘ladders’ to help us on our journey.Think about people in your family or workplace and the friends you have who can help you along the way. Think about the services and organisations in the community that might help you resolve your problems. Once you have thought about the first steps to resolve your problems and identified the ‘ladders’ in your life, read on to find where the trail takes you to in the healing journey. You will cross the creek and climb to the higher ground away from the creek.
5. Ready to go
You’re on top of the world and on top of your issues.
As you climb the hill, think about the effort that it takes to reach a goal or destination in your life. Resolve to make the effort to reach the top of the hill and to take the first step in your action plan. Take some time to sit on top of the hill. Summarise all the key points and conclusions you have reached
to develop an action plan for the future. Keep re-stating the plan to yourself to reinforce it. Look back over the journey you have taken.
• You have made a positive choice to heal yourself.
• You have chosen some issues that you can do something about
and put aside those things over which you have no control.
• You have resolved to take some simple steps to deal
with your issues.
• You have thought about who or what can assist you
in your journey.
• You have reflected on the richness and worth of your life.
Now make a declaration to yourself to realize in both word and action whatever you have identified during your journey. Congratulations – you are on the right path towards a rich, fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle.